Serie A - Milan held at home by Catania
Filippo Inzaghi spared Milan’s blushes by poking home the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at home to Catania.
Milan dominated possession throughout but could not find a winner after falling behind to Ciro Capuano’s rasping volley.
Milan came into the game looking to put the disappointment of last week's defeat at Cesena behind them.
Robinho missed out on a debut amid reports that he had suffered a leg injury, but that still left coach Massimiliano Allegri with a fearsome forward line of Ronaldinho, Inzaghi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
But when Inzaghi spurned the best chance of the early stages, wafting a shot from six yards high and wide, Milan went off the boil, allowing the visitors to make an impression and create a number of chances.
Time and again the Milan defence was shown up in the first half for a lack of speed, as Catania broke with pace and purpose.
And 27 minutes in, the visitors got what they deserved when Capuano struck with a crisp volley from thirty yards. The wonder strike beat Abbiati low to his right, silencing the crowd.
The chances kept coming – two minutes later a counter attack led by Giuseppe Mascara ended with Adrian Ricchiuti hooking his shot left of the post, while Mathias Silvestre later missed a free header from a set piece.
And despite a lacklustre opening half, Milan found their equaliser on the cusp of half-time when Inzaghi turned home a Ronaldinho centre after the ball had pinged across the penalty area.
Milan came out altogether more positively after the interval and Clarence Seedorf tested Mariano Andujar within seconds of the restart.
But for the rest of the half the hosts had the ball – as much as 70% of the possession at times – but they did not fashion it into clear-cut chances.
With ten minutes remaining Ronaldinho’s cross deflected off the back of Capuano’s head and forced Andujar into a save.
Catania had played with spirit and enterprise throughout and were able to negotiate the four minutes of injury time – more than could be said for Milan’s vice president Adriano Galliani, who was seen leaving his seat before the final whistle.
Despite the quality of Catania’s performance, Milan will see the draw at home as two points dropped at this early stage of the title race.
The visitors, meanwhile, will be delighted to avoid defeat at a ground where they had lost nine of their last 13 matches against the Rossoneri, as they consolidated their mid-table position.